Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Following the Writer's Suggestion

I'm not comfortable in the anonymity of space... it strikes me as a nothingness into which a solitary call can be issued and enveloped by the utter coldness of silence. He tells me, however, that I am above the vulgarity of Facebook as a medium for posting my thoughts. No doubt my posting are also above the censorship that Facebook affords, and as my posts have--in recent days--centered around this man, the Writer, who compels me to speak to an Unknown "you"--though, again, some of "you" readers may be guessed at....

Foucault writes in "The Archeology of Knowledge," "I am no doubt not the only one who writes in order to have no face." I speak with Foucault here: If what is sought is a "face"--a true "self" that writes a confessional "Truth"--then these pages are faceless. I speak here only in elisions and leave only traces: you will find ever and only so many masks masking masks. To the anonymous reader, I present the defenses of the author.

Regarding writing there is something to be said: Plato remarks in the "Phaedrus" that writing in and of itself is not something shameful--it is only shameful when deployed shamefully. The shame of writing is to construct a text that does not adhere as though it were an organic, living body. I do not, pace Plato, write the living: I write phantasms, specters--those disembodied ghouls (desires) that wheel back onto/into the body, rendering it the disjointed compilation of fragmented sentences that I am. So many--perhaps too many--fragments.

In writing I do not have a face, as an author, but I posit--I throw ahead of my prose--a face that I write to: cohesion centers around the locutionary act of address. Tonight, as it has been all of tonight, it is you I address. I gain a moment of unity, of comprehensibility around the (response-)ability of my ability to respond: I listen, let words sink into the metaphorical soil of my metaphorical soul, and I think of how I am to reply--how I am to account for all the remainders that remain unaccountable (to me, to you, to whomever asks), and how that account will balance against your question. Which reminds me: you always pose a question (always: in your silences, in your halted, fractured statements, in your displaced analogies) and I come alive at the issuance of an ellipses that invites reflection.

So long as there is a projected "You" to which this address issues forth--an incredible "You" in that the simple phantasy of You being on the other end of this address is so phantastic...--then the nothingness of silence is dispelled. Indeed, so long as there is a "You" to read, the the elisions and traces of my reflections begin to consolidate around a mirrored refraction of a face--so many faces--that is/are addressed: In the promise of a "You" the deconstruction that documents my "face" begins.

But this has only been so many false starts. Nothing is said absent the affirmed absence of the author: a disavowal that avows the potency of language to subject an author to words, and words to an author--Me--who writes not writing; a faceless face.

Return to Plato, return to nothingness. Plato's Socrates demands that the text write what _Is_, being. Sartre writes, What I am, I am not. Reconcile the two: Plato enforces a governing economy of presence: the text can only draft what _Is_. Sartre defers what _Is_ into nothingness: what I am cannot be written for it exceeds the bounds of discourse--nothing can be said of it, for it stupefies language's exhaustive capacity: it is yet to come, and this--the yet to come, possibility--defies the ordered predictability of grammar itself: a faceless face.

In writing "I" summon specters and phantasms, ghouls (desire) that speak, in silence, to a future unknown, faceless. This is where I meet you--"You"--when I do not meet you face-to-face. In a space where the exhaustive order of grammar is stilted and stunted, where I can speak without speaking (I am, after all, writing), and the possibilities of an unknown splay of possibilities suddenly comes alive. All this, I should add, is masked in my masking smile: I cannot speak when words have no meaning, and then I dare not act: my cowardice, my nobility. My smile _is_ manic in its effort to hold back behind my teeth what would otherwise be so many opaque, bizarre, and fearsome iterations! A smile with no cat. :-)

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